Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring Real's 2nd goal during a match between Real Madrid CF and Real Sporting de Gijon. Real Madrid face Bayern Munich in UEFA Champions League on April 17, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid are favorites in their tie against Bayern Munich, who will be hoping to catch Los Merengues looking ahead to El Clasico.
Bayern Munich's chances to win the Bundesliga have completely evaporated with their last two league results, so their staff and players will have tunnel vision on Real Madrid and the UEFA Champions League over the next two weeks. Their loss to Borussia Dortmund was simply the result of an average performance against an excellent team, but their draw over the weekend against Mainz probably had a lot more to do with them looking ahead to a bigger match.
The Bavarians will be hoping to catch Real Madrid in the same situation. They play Barcelona in El Clasico over the weekend at Camp Nou, and even if the players are completely focused on Bayern, Jose Mourinho and his coaching staff will have one eye on the weekend.
Bayern rested all of Franck Ribery, Mario Gomez, Luiz Gustavo and Phillip Lahm at the weekend and all should earn recalls to their starting XI. Toni Kroos is the biggest selection wildcard for Jupp Heynckes' side, as he can play in multiple positions and he's been a regular for most of the year, but he's looked vulnerable defensively in the team's double pivot and Müller appears to be first choice in the central attacking midfield role.
None of Karim Benzema, Angel di Maria or Xabi Alonso played on the weekend and all should start for Real Madrid. Mesut Özil played against Sporting Gijon and Kaka sat, but it's unclear who Mourinho will play against Bayern. Whoever rests between the two of them could potentially be in line for a start against Barcelona. Mourinho has a similar selection dilemma at left back, where there isn't much separating Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao.
Projected Bayern Munich Lineup (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, Phillip Lahm; Luiz Gustavo, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Franck Ribery, Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben; Mario Gomez
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
TV: FOX Soccer Channel (USA - English), FOX Deportes (USA - Spanish), Sportsnet regional networks (Canada), Sky Sports 2 (UK)
We'll have live coverage of the game in our Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works and Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.